Men's Team

Talking Points: A proud night for the Academy

There were plenty of positives to take from City’s 4-1 win over Sunderland in the Capital One Cup third round.

Telegraph Football described our performance as “devastatingly brilliant”, the Manchester Evening News said that De Bruyne “savaged” Sunderland and the Guardian said it was the kind of win that worked the Juventus and West Ham defeats out of our system.

Where was the game won and lost? Here are five things we learned from our Wearside win.

A proud night…

It’s been a long journey for George Evans – at just 20-years old, he can say that no player has been at the club for longer.

In 2000, Evans was spotted by City as a six-year old playing for Cheadle and Gatley Juniors at a youth tournament which took place behind Parrs Wood in Didsbury.

He’s been at City ever since and last night he became the first player to ever represent the club from under-8 level right through to the first-team in a competitive game.

It was a dream come true for a lifelong City fan and son of former player Ronnie Evans.

He told CityTV: “"I'm lost for words. It's the best day of my life. I'm a big City fan myself so I'm absolutely buzzing. I'm lost for words."

Evans wasn’t alone in making his senior debut: Manu Garcia and Patrick Roberts also made their first appearances on a proud night for the Academy.

De Bruyne/Sterling axis…

By his lofty standards, Raheem Sterling was a little quieter than usual against West Ham at the weekend but he was back to his decisive best in this win over the Black Cats.

Most encouragingly from a City point of view, his link-up play with fellow new boy Kevin De Bruyne was mouthwatering at times as the pair laid on goals for one another.

Sterling ended the night with two assists and a goal, while De Bruyne had a goal and an assist to add to his debut goal against the Hammers on Saturday.

You always got the sense that if this pair clicked in this system, City would be difficult to stop, so it was perhaps worrying for our rivals to see the duo running riot at the Stadium of Light.

Add in David Silva and…?


Second season syndrome…

Despite all of the attacking brilliance on show from City in the first half, it was the man at the base of midfield who was voted as CityMatchday app users’ Man of the Match.

By his own admission, Fernando Reges found it tough at times to translate his Porto form into the Premier League in his first season but there was clear evidence last night that the Brazilian can rival Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Fabian Delph for a space in the City XI.

Time after time, Fernando broke up promising Sunderland attacks either with clever interceptions and well-timed slide tackles. He also set the Blues on their way with his positive forward passes and breaks from the centre of the pitch.

Already this season, Eliaquim Mangala looks to have acclimatized to English football and now there are signs that his former Porto teammate has done the same.


Saving legs…

City visibly took their foot off the pedal in the second half of this third round tie, perhaps with half an eye on Spurs on Saturday.

They were afforded this luxury due to their 25 minute four-goal blitz in the first period and Manuel Pellegrini was also able to withdraw Toure, Navas and Aguero early to give them rests ahead of our trip to North London.

It was the perfect night in that respect as the Blues picked up no new injuries and first-teamers played their way into a bit of form with a tough trip coming up fast.


Ghost green…

Is “We’re Man City, We Glow in the Dark” the best new chant our away support has come up with this season so far?

We reckon so… hats off!